Third International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology
Benoît Schneider,
University of Nancy 2,
President of the AEPU
(Association des Enseignants-chercheurs en Psychologie des Universités, Co-president of the FFPP Fédération Française des Psychologues et de Psychologie)

Catherine Wieder,
University of Franche-Comté,
Secretaire of the AEPU

Presentation (ppt)


We present the main characteristics of the model used by French universities in training future psychologists in France, focusing on:

  1. the specific characteristics of the French training of psychologists in the higher education system: the title of “trained psychologist” refers to students officially trained by French Universities and is reserved to students with both a B.A. and an MA in psychology proper.
  2. psychology as one of the most attractive disciplines that can be chosen for a student’s university education: French students in psychology represent a population of a fourth of all European students in psychology.
  3. the flexibility and relevancy of the French education model : the diversity of degrees enables a supple adaptation to the social requisites and demands.

We also present the following problems:

  1. a shortage of professors Psychology is one of the university disciplines where the number of supervising teachers is the lowest.
  2. a late selection: at present, students are only selected when they have completed their fourth year.
  3. an excess in the quantity of graduates: the number of degrees granted is by far superior to the needs of the market.
  4. a lack of clarity in some French diplomas titles for employers Every single university is allowed to specify freely the number of specialities in the field which will be granted to students.

We highlight and examine the resistance factors in the French system in regards to the above problems. In particular, we examine the ensuing problems that the autonomy of universities brings up as well as its paradoxes; the statutory constraints of the occupation of professor-researcher; the various degrees and qualifications of dubious recognition available in the market; and the paradoxical relations between research and training.

Further, we examine a few potential factors of change: the issue of evaluation of students and following that, the issue of professional integration are beginning to generate more debate; new means of gaining the title of “psychologist” through the "recognition of prior experience and learning" or through the recognition of foreign degrees compels one to redefine the required competences; lastly; the establishment of the European Degree of Psychology is beginning to render the Franco-French debate obsolete.

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© 2008 Victor Karandashev